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Achieving Agile Fitness

17 December 2015


One of the principles of the Agile Manifesto says, "Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done." Agility provides a platform for the whole team to reflect on and learn from the past so that the team can plan for the future and create a community.

Living in the information technology world (aka obese/overweight but fun world), it's difficult to sustain body fitness. I finally realized I wanted to undergo a fitness transformation. It was only when I started to enhance my body fitness did the concept of "The benefit you get is in direct proportion to the effort you put in" really begin to take root. Even though I had no idea how to transform, when I researched the tips and tricks to ensure a successful fitness transformation, I had a "eureka" moment: The concepts of fitness transformation were similar to those working on a project using Agile practices. Let me share a few of my thoughts and examples.
 

An effective blueprint (aka the road map)

An Agile project, similar to a fitness transformation, is really all about planning.
 
Blueprint Agile practices Fitness transformation
Plan Having a road map, vision, and strategy Where is the venue for your fitness transformation program? Is a personal trainer required? And how long will the transformation take?
Strategy What do your customers need? What food and workout regimens will you follow?
Tactics The ability to deliver value quickly while sustaining long-term viability. Selecting the right trainer, doing the right workouts, and continuing to sustain the same fitness for longer periods.
 

The daily workouts (aka daily touchpoints or stand-up calls and backlog grooming)

Once you start the process, it's so much easier to spend 30 minutes in the gym to shed the excess weight than to spend hours attempting to understand the new workouts that replace unwanted workouts chosen due to lack of understanding. During the daily visits or workouts, new developments can be seen and sometimes things have to change, such as prioritizing the workouts and food habits. Does this sound familiar?
  • The ritual of the Agile daily stand-up calls is a way to identify issues and impediments early, before they get out of control. It allows teams to maintain momentum.
  • Backlog grooming is a time for the team to gain clarity and insight around business needs, along with the ability for the business to make changes in priority based on customers' needs.


The harvest (aka demos and production launch)

After all your hard work and attention, there isn't anything more satisfying than seeing the fruits of your labor. The fitness transformation will give additional energy and motivation, not to mention you'll avoid hospital bills.

I have the same excitement around demo days and production launches while working on the Agile projects:
  • Demos are often heavily attended, with great anticipation. Early feedback from the stakeholders, sponsors, and leadership is invaluable. They provide a sense of accomplishment while helping us remain focused on the needs of our customers.
  • The production launch is the ultimate test of all our hard work — when we deliver a quality product to market that 1) customers will use and 2) will drive value to the business. Success is simple: Do what's right, the right way, at the right time.
 
Sprint # # of Weeks Targeted weight loss (kgs.) Actual weight loss (kgs.)
1 2 2 2
2 2 3 2
3 3 5 4
4 3 4 3

In the end, what I have learned is that fitness transformation, just like agility, requires practice, patience, and a willingness to make mistakes while I learn along the way. So who's ready to grab some weights, do push-ups, and use fitness apps to track progress — to join me in Agile fitness?
 

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.



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Comments

Bharath Polagani, CSM, 1/7/2016 4:45:35 AM
Nice write up Karuna. It is very interesting to see the relationship between agile and your fitness transformation. Thanks for sharing the story. Please keep writing :)
Meghan Robinson, 3/9/2016 5:44:07 PM
Hi Karunakar,

Would you be okay with us highlighting this article on our new AgileCareers Blog?

You can view the blog here: http://membership.scrumalliance.org/blogpost/1322603/AgileCareers-News

I look forward to hearing your response! Thanks.
Karunakar M, CSP,CSM, 4/27/2016 11:18:52 PM
Hi Meghan,

Please go-ahead.

Thanks
Karuna

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